marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

The Undefended Borders of SF

I was on this one.  That is, it was on the list that Programming gave me, and while I wasn't in the program's list, they didn't throw me off.  (Hey, that works.)

Where we thrashed about using SF tropes in fantasy and fantasy tropes in SF.

I brought up Gunnerkrieg Court (living shadows!  robots!  a class project involving Greek Mythology! stopping alien invasions! psychopomps! Coyote!) and Warhammer 40000 (military SF in the far future!  With sorcerers!)  Also John Hemry's Paul Sinclair books, which only touch on this:  futuristic courtroom drama involving the space-faring US Navy.  Except that two characters die in the book and other characters attribute certain things to their ghosts.  Not anything that has to be ghosts, but could be.

Some of the panelists are of the opinion that you can call something fantasy merely because it doesn't actually involve any science; I am firmly of the rivets school of thought, because the machinery makes it clear that you are appealing to the authority of science to achieve the suspension of disbelief.  Hindsight is twenty-twenty; I should have pointed out that their example Star Wars is clearly SF because it contrasts the Force to the machinery they use, and if you made the machinery fantastical in nature, that contrast would have gone away.
Tags: arisia, genre: fantasy, genre: science fiction

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